I've decided that I need to stop going to coffee shops. I keep meeting people who already know me there. First was Lebowski, come to let me know that the government was watching me and may want to recruit me, and now this.
Though watching the guards try to maintain the balance between being inconspicuous and being ready for action in a second's notice is rather amusing. I will admit that. Also I'm pretty sure there's a sniper following me around, ready to strike if Judas goes crazy. I've seen a dude with a gun running around nearby rooftops. I won't say the SMSC doesn't take the threat of Judas seriously.
Anyway, I was sitting at a coffee shop when some girl, looked to be college age, so a few years younger than me, sat down opposite myself.
"Matthias Stanford?" she asked.
I was very quiet, not knowing where this was going, and I just nodded.
"Mother sent me to check up on you. You can call me Jorma."
I frowned. And then... well, she blinked. Twice. And between blinks, her eyes were golden and her pupils were slits. "Oh," I said. "You're a... a whatchamacallit."
"'Lilim' is the term I believe you're looking for." Jorma leaned back in her chair. "I'm here to keep an eye on you. Make sure nothing happens to you."
"You mean nothing happens to me before the Mother of Snakes is ready to use me?"
She shrugged. "They all want to use you. And trust me when I say that Mother is the nicest."
"The Intrusion is out for your blood. Did you know that. Mother has found common ground with the Archangel in keeping the Intrusion from eating you inside out."
That gave me pause. "The Archangel? Really?"
"Yep. Who knows what that one's thinking. But don't worry about that now. I'm also here to protect you from the Eye. It doesn't have a grand plan. It just sees another victim when it looks at you."
I glanced down at the table, where an eyeball happened to be staring back at me. "And what about the Newborn?"
"The Newborn. I don't know how or why I ended up in its realm before, and neither does Judas." That part was really what worried me the most. Either Judas was keeping information from me or, worse, he genuinely didn't know why I ended up taking a trip to the Towering Realm.
"That I don't know." Jorma smiled. "You think Mother tells me everything?" She laughed. "I'll be in touch, and don't you fret-- I won't be far. Rest assured: Mother wants me to keep an eye on you, and I never disappoint her."
And then she stood up, and walked out of the shop.
I really need to stop drinking coffee in public.